Call for papers – The French of the Celtic Worlds

CALL FOR PAPERS 

University of Bristol, 9–11 April 2025 

Organisers: Dr Luciana Cordo Russo and Dr Matthew Siôn Lampitt 

In recent years, much scholarship has been devoted to exploring medieval francophonies outside of France, including across the Italian and Iberian peninsulas, in Flanders and the Low Countries, as well as in different regions of Outremer. As a region of early and prolific Francophone textual production, England has received especial attention, most recently under the rubric of the ‘French of England’. 

Within and alongside this work, scholars have been increasingly exploring further francophonies, including in Scotland, Ireland, and Wales. Under the rubric of ‘The French of the Celtic Worlds’, this conference seeks to bring together and develop further these fields of research. Our aim is to (re)assess French-language works––whether administrative documents or literary texts––produced, circulated, or translated in Celtic-speaking territories, to consider various modes of cultural and linguistic contact, and to attend to the wider contexts and dynamics in which these processes are implicated. Possible questions for consideration include, but are not limited to: 

  • Which cultural and political actors are of relevance to ‘The French of the Celtic Worlds’? Which texts, manuscripts, authors, patrons, scribes, nobles, institutions, etc., could be framed or reframed in this way? 
  • What are the roles of translation, multilingualism, and other forms of literary or linguistic borrowing, interfacing, and exchange? 
  • How might we best identify and conceptualise spaces, vectors, and networks of contact? What are the political dynamics at work in these? 
  • What is the value of ‘The French of the Celtic Worlds’ as a heuristic category? What methodological challenges and opportunities are at stake in it? What might be its wider implications (intellectual, political, ethical, etc.)? 

We invite abstracts (200 words) from researchers at all career stages for 20-minute papers to be submitted by Monday 30 September 2024 to french-of-celtic@bristol.ac.uk

Papers are encouraged to be presented in person, but may be presented online if necessary. Further details regarding keynote speakers and travel bursaries will be announced at a later date. 

This conference is funded by the projects ‘Mapping the March: Medieval Wales and England, c. 1282-1550’ (ERC–UKRI) and ‘Charlemagne in Wales: The Transmission, Reception, and Translation of Charlemagne Narratives in Medieval Wales’ (British Academy Newton International Fellowship).

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